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Cuphead Studio Co-Founder: 'We Quit Our Jobs, Mortgaged Our Houses' to Grow Team

Ahead of the game’s release date, Cuphead studio’s co-founder Chad Moldenhauer share trials, tribulations, and triumphs from the game’s development.


Three years after its debut, one year after it no-showed E3 2016, and following delays that left fans worried it might never materialize, Cuphead has a release date: September 28. The game drew attention for its 1930s-style animations and art style. Games Radar has published a behind-the-scenes account of Cuphead’s development featuring an interview with StudioMDHR co-founder Chad Moldenhauer.

More than a co-founder, Moldenhauer serves as Cuphead’s co-creator alongside his brother Jared. The brothers dreamed of creating a platform game but, when the scope ballooned to an unmanageable size, pivoted to a series of boss fights. After consideration, Chad and Jared decided to proceed with their dream game.

“The reality is, Cuphead is closer now to the game we always wanted,” Chad told Games Radar. “We aren't throwing levels in to mollify people, we're putting them back in after originally cutting them from our ‘dream scope.’”

Committing to their vision wasn’t as simple as forging blindly ahead. Both brothers knew the reality of their situation. They had passion in spades but were running low on resources. Before they jumped in with both feet, they decided to put together a prototype and see how people responded to their idea. Players who sampled it at E3 2015 were delighted by its visuals and controls, but, as Chad and Jared expected, expressed disappointment at playing what amounted to a boss rush.

“My brother and I quit our jobs, remortgaged our houses and began expanding the team,” Moldenhauer said. “This was our chance to actually deliver the game we wanted to make all along, rather than the cut-scope game we originally planned with a three-person team.”

For more behind-the-scenes details on Cuphead’s long road to completion, check out the full article on Games Radar.

Long Reads Editor

David L. Craddock writes fiction, nonfiction, and grocery lists. He is the author of the Stay Awhile and Listen series, and the Gairden Chronicles series of fantasy novels for young adults. Outside of writing, he enjoys playing Mario, Zelda, and Dark Souls games, and will be happy to discuss at length the myriad reasons why Dark Souls 2 is the best in the series. Follow him online at and @davidlcraddock.

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